Galway WFC manager Billy Clery believes significant potential exists in the west and is hopeful his promising team can make an impact in the upcoming WNL season.
On Monday Galway WFC returned to pre-season shortly after the fixtures were announced with a Saturday, March 27 home contest against Cork City first on the agenda at Eamonn Deacy Park.
“Just before we started training on Monday the fixture list was released so there was a great buzz,” Clery says.
“For the first game we are at home to Cork, it is great to be at home. That is the date we are focusing on, everything we do will be in preparation for the first competitive game of the season.”
Clery recently added the highly regarded Dave Bell to his coaching staff and is adamant that Galway can improve further.
“We had 26 players in, the session went really well and it was a great introduction for Dave, for him to meet the players that we will have this season,” Clery states.
“We have seven or eight new players into the fold for pre-season, we will see how that pans out in the next couple of weeks. We will be looking to announce signings next week and the week after.”
During his time in charge of Galway WFC, Clery has integrated emerging talent from the region into the squad with Therese Kinnevey and Shauna Brennan excelling on the national stage in 2020.
“Obviously we have a core group of players that we have for the last number of years,” Clery explains.
“The introduction of the U17s a few years ago and now you have a pathway with the U19s league starting. We are going to get a lot more young local talent coming through.
“We saw that last year with two young U17s, who played up and also another number of players got their first introduction to the senior set-up. They were in training with the senior squad.”
The new U19 national competition is a welcome development according to Clery. “There is a great pathway now for all of the players in the west of Ireland in place between U17, U19, and on to senior,” Clery acknowledges.
“Also we know we have lost a few of our younger players, who have gone to sign for Athlone and other clubs just because that pathway wasn’t in place. It is very difficult to bridge that gap between U17 to senior. Now the U19 is there I’m sure that will help a lot with the club going forward.”